Players - Jim Furnell

Jim Furnell
Birthdate: 23 November 1937
Birthplace: Clitheroe, England
Other clubs: Burnley (1954-62), Arsenal (1963-68), Rotherham United (1968-70), Plymouth Argyle (1970-76)
Bought from: Burnley
Signed for LFC: £18,000, 23.02.1962
Liverpool debut: 03.03.1962
Last appearance: 16.09.1963
Contract expiry: 21.11.1963
Win ratio: 42.86% W:12 D:7 L:9
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 9 / 0
League games / goals: 28 / 0
Total games / goals: 28 / 0

Player Profile

Furnell had made just three first-team appearances in eight seasons at one of the best teams in the first division, Burnley, when Everton wanted to purchase him but he declined their offer. Consequently he was dropped into Burnley's A team but while still regretting his decision Shankly made his interest known. Furnell didn't hesitate this time and the 24-year-old moved to Liverpool to help the club to secure promotion to the First Division. Bert Slater was dropped following 96 consecutive games in the first team and Furnell played the last 13 games of the 1961/62 season when Liverpool were finally promoted after being stuck in the Second Division for eight long years. Furnell broke his finger 13 games into the 1962/63 season, thirteen, clearly, an unlucky number for him as it was the end of his Liverpool career! Furnell recalled his twist of fate in the Lancashire Telegraph in 1998: "I went down to collect the ball in a five-a-side and caught the finger on the ground. Shanks took me out of goal and made me complete the match up front. He wouldn't believe that it was broken, but Bob Paisley insisted I should go along to have it checked out by the doctors. I spent a week in hospital, needed a bone graft and didn't play again for months. Didn't realise it at the time, but it was the end for me at Anfield. That's when I saw another side to Shankly. If you were injured it was as though you stopped existing. He didn't come to visit me and more or less ignored me when I reported in at the club for daily treatment."

Twenty-two-year-old Tommy Lawrence replaced him having waited patiently for his chance for five years. Lawrence's emergence sealed Furnell's fate at Liverpool thus enabling Shankly to sell him to Arsenal in November 1963. Furnell did exceptionally well at the Gunners and played 167 games for the first division team from 1963-1968 until he made way for future legend Bob Wilson. Furnell made 76 League appearances for third division Rotherham United, before joining fellow third division team Plymouth Argyle in 1970. Initially signed as a reserve 'keeper he took the number one jersey and was voted Plymouth's Player of the Year in his first season. He had played a total of 206 games for the Pilgrims when he retired in 1976. In 2007 he was named "Argyle's Greatest Ever Keeper" in a poll on a popular website for Argyle so he clearly made a good impression at Home Park. Furnell joined the coaching staff at Plymouth and was in charge of Blackburn's reserves and youth team development from 1981-1998. 

"Under Shankly it was awesome, made you understand the real meaning of fanatical," Furnell told the Lancashire Telegraph. "There's never been an atmosphere to compare with Anfield. We used to get goosebumps running out there, heaven knows what opponents must have felt like. Being in goal in front of 15,000 on the Kop made you feel unbeatable. Tommy Lawrence came up from the reserves to take my place and the team just went from strength to strength. It was the start of the Liverpool domination - two championships in three years, the European Cup, the FA Cup. You name it, they won it and, but for the injury, the person wearing the green jersey and picking up the medals would probably have been me. That's fate, that's football and that's life.“
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 28 0 0 0 0 28
1961-1962 13 0 0 0 0 13
1962-1963 13 0 0 0 0 13
1963-1964 2 0 0 0 0 2
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Apps Minutes Opponent
3 270 West Ham United
2 180 Manchester City
2 180 Stoke City
2 180 Wolves
1 90 Bolton Wanderers
1 90 Leicester City
1 90 Leyton Orient
1 90 Huddersfield Town
1 90 Ipswich Town
1 90 Charlton Athletic
1 90 Rotherham United
1 90 Southampton
1 90 Luton Town
1 90 Walsall
1 90 Preston North End
1 90 Blackpool
1 90 Blackburn Rovers
1 90 Nottingham Forest
1 90 Everton
1 90 Sheffield United
1 90 Derby
1 90 Plymouth Argyle
1 90 Swansea City
Total Home/Away/Neutral venue
15 Home
13 Away
Total Competition
28 League
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 03.03.1962 Walsall Fellows Park League
Related Articles
Furnell vision

Interview with Jim Furnell on his Liverpool days under Shankly, published 31 January 1998.

Liverpool secure Shankly's first title!

A press article from Liverpool Echo and Daily Express on the 18th of April 1964.

Furnell on the cover of the Liverpool Echo on 10 March 1962
Furnell on the cover of the Liverpool Echo on 10 March 1962
Jim Furnell signed
Jim Furnell signed
Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Burnley 1959-1960 England First Division 1 0 1 0
Burnley 1960-1961 England First Division 1 0 2 0
Arsenal 1963-1964 England First Division 21 0 26 0
Arsenal 1964-1965 England First Division 18 0 18 0
Arsenal 1965-1966 England First Division 31 0 32 0
Arsenal 1966-1967 England First Division 42 0 50 0
Arsenal 1967-1968 England First Division 29 0 41 0
Rotherham United 1968-1969 England Third Division 41 0 45 0
Rotherham United 1969-1970 England Third Division 35 0 44 0
Plymouth Argyle 1970-1971 England Third Division 30 0 30 0
Plymouth Argyle 1971-1972 England Third Division 23 0 26 0
Plymouth Argyle 1972-1973 England Third Division 28 0 32 0
Plymouth Argyle 1973-1974 England Third Division 43 0 53 0
Plymouth Argyle 1974-1975 England Third Division 46 0 52 0
Plymouth Argyle 1975-1976 England Second Division 13 0 13 0
Total 402 0 465 0